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An ecosystem around family offices grows

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Family offices are opening up. Those running then are increasingly willing to share knowledge and expertise in order for them to improve their own practices, says Citi Private Bank, which is releasing a series of papers on best practices for family offices.

Stephen Campbell, chairman of Citi Private Bank’s global family office group, reckons family offices, despite their opaqueness, want to open up and share knowledge about the sector much more than they did in the past.

“The family office industry, which manages several trillion dollars of assets worldwide, is often opaque, with very little publicly available information,” says Campbell. “Family office executives frequently find themselves constrained by this.” But this is changing, he says, with more executives seeking insight from their colleagues at other family offices.

Family offices are certainly becoming more sophisticated, as Edward Marshall, a director in the bank’s global family office group, says. And that is driving the thirst for more knowledge about their industry.

“Because of the resources that are available to these families in terms of expertise, the calibre of professionals that are interested in working for family offices, the growing support networks, and increasing collaboration among family office individuals, you’re starting to see them become more sophisticated more quickly than in the pasts,” he says.

In order to meet demand for knowledge, Citi is releasing a series of thought leadership pieces on topics of importance to family offices. These include papers on: ‘Why family offices are increasingly relying upon bespoke remuneration packages to attract top executive talent, which often go beyond financial incentives’, and, ‘The costs of creating and running a family office, and assessing value-for-money’.

The bank is particularly interested in working with the executives who run these family offices. Two years ago, Citi began a leadership conference for family office executives, which attracted more than 100 family-office managers. That even has now gone global as well as to other cities in the US, says Marshall.

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